In a career spanning 25 years, National Award-winning actor Divya Dutta has been part of projects like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Veer-Zaara, Badlapur, Manto, Irada, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Delhi-6, Gippi and Stanley Ka Dabba.
Dutta’s filmography is a mixed bag and in languages varying from Hindi to Punjabi, English and Malayalam. She was recently seen in Disney+ Hotstar’s Special Ops.
But how did it all begin for Divya Dutta? Here’s what the actor shared:
1. What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?
The first project I shot for was a film called Surakshaa (1995). Though my first release was Ishq Mein Jeena Ishq Mein Marna, I faced the camera for Surakshaa before that. I was 17 or 18. I was also appearing for my graduation exams along with it. This was 1994-1995, and I was a Stardust protegee. We had met a lot of producers and directors. In the industry, nobody says no to you. So I thought I was doing a good 22 films without knowing I wasn’t a part of any! Then I landed this film which was a multi-starrer with Suniel Shetty, Saif Ali Khan, Aditya Pancholi and Monica Bedi. That time I don’t think I had a choice of selecting roles. For someone coming from outside the industry, this was good enough. I was just happy being a part of a feature film.
2. What do you remember of your first day on set?
We were doing a night sequence at the beach. It was also raining. In the sequence, Suniel was trying to take me home, and I didn’t want to go because my stepmother wanted to sell me off. Then the goons arrive, and the hero saves me. I was watching the scenes and laughing away.
3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?
I seriously wasn’t nervous. Instead, I was excited like a little kid. I just wouldn’t sit. It was also because I was drenched and didn’t want to feel more wet. Suniel told the director that this new girl is full of life, but she’s been standing all night!
Ever since I was a kid, the only thing that I’ve wanted was to be in front of the camera. And this was coming true. Everything right from the director saying ‘camera’, ‘action’, ‘lights’ and ‘zoom-it’, and everyone looking at me as the new girl was everything and more.
4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again later?
I met Suniel so many times, though I don’t think we shot for any film again. We still share a very warm rapport. I shot with the director Raju Mavani again.
5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what would you like to change or do better?
I would ideally choose a more romantic film with some nice romantic songs and scenes as my debut because I am a die-hard romantic. This was an action flick, and I was there for glam quotient.
Also Read | First of Many: Gajraj Rao | Vivek Oberoi | Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub | Rajpal Yadav | Rajeev Khandelwal | Govind Namdev | Neena Gupta | Pankaj Tripathi | Satish Kaushik | Mohit Raina | Shahid Kapoor | Anang Desai | Jimmy Sheirgill | Tabu | Harsh Chhaya | Gaurav Gera | Saurabh Shukla | Deepak Dobriyal | Seema Pahwa | Annup Sonii | Sayantani Ghosh | Annu Kapoor | Ajay Devgn | Vishal Malhotra | Rahul Khanna | Ashutosh Rana | Jaaved Jaaferi | Ashwath Bhatt | Varun Badola | Renuka Shahane | Taapsee Pannu | Manoj Bajpayee | Milind Soman | Rajkummar Rao | Akhilendra Mishra | Rohit Roy | Suchitra Pillai | Gulshan Grover | Abhay Deol | Ashwini Kalsekar | Adil Hussain | Shweta Tiwari | Purab Kohli | Mita Vasisht | Vipin Sharma
6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?
Guddi, Khoobsurat and Mausam. Dharmendra ji and I are from the same hometown. He was initially sceptical about me joining films, like a protective Punjabi man. But when he saw me working, he was very encouraging. He once told me, “You know if I had my way, I would’ve loved to see you in a role like Guddi.” That time I was too shy to tell him that this has been my dream role.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines